Novice? Experienced pro? How the series works for you.

Each book in the series is designed to work for those who don’t have a lot of experience with meetings and also for those who do.

For instance, someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience organizing dialogues can pick up Understanding the Facilitation Cycle and learn enough to design and facilitate a simple dialogue. Each segment of the overall facilitation cycle is explained, the questions to ask in planning are laid out, and some “scripts” to be used during the process are provided.

The inspiration for this book was a nonprofit employee who attended an event we facilitated and told us that her organization was being asked to organize dialogues, was learning on the fly and had no money for training or to hire facilitators. As a result the “dialogues” they had scheduled were tightly controlled to avoid conflict and didn’t actually allow for dialogue so much as statements by the various parties. This in turn meant that they were missing the opportunities for new insights, understandings, and relationships that productive dialogue can bring about.

Yet when time, experience, and budget are all limited, the default choice is often to steer away from conflict towards what seems like a low risk (and ow value) strategy. Although there are many excellent summaries of specific processes and related procedures, the sheer number of permutations can be overwhelming. We wanted to provide a simple framework that could help beginning facilitators to get started.

Experienced facilitators can use this same framework to describe judgments made and to record results. This lets them pass on their knowledge to colleagues and clients.

(Image credit: Daniil Silantev on Unsplash)

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